/ 16 February 2014

Waterkloof Four: Prison-party claims to be probed

Christoff Becker
Christoff Becker

The correctional services department will probe claims that two of the so-called Waterkloof Four convicted murderers had a party with alcohol in a jail cell ahead of their release, the City Press newspaper reported on Sunday.

"The department regards the allegations of alcohol abuse in a prison cell in a very serious light," department spokesperson Manelisi Wolela told the newspaper.

"We will take action if we have the evidence and will then launch a full investigation."

Wolela said alcohol and cellphones were not allowed in prisons. The City Press reported that it had received a copy of a video featuring Frikkie du Preez and Christoff Becker allegedly drinking, and using a cellphone in a prison cell in Pretoria's Kgosi Mampuru prison.

"It's a nice weekend in jail here. We're having a great time… We managed to get a bottle of something," Becker is heard saying in Afrikaans on the video posted on YouTube.

Pop music plays throughout the video. In it the cell is shown kitted out with a sink, a table with a computer on it, and a pot plant with heart-shaped leaves. Becker is seen taking photos of himself with a cellphone while posing topless in front of a mirror.

Throughout the video, which runs for just under four minutes, Becker constantly pulls on his shorts to expose more of his red-banded briefs. He stands up to flex his muscles, does some dance moves and plays with his belly button, which is shown in an extended close-up.

'Someone gave them the alcohol'
At one stage, Du Preez, who appears to be seated on a toilet, doubles over with laughter and at another moment lifts his eyebrow and pouts.

A photo on the computer screen shows a bottle of J&B whisky and Johnny Walker Red Label, which one of the men says "Francois" gave them.

A friend of Becker's, Francois Lubbe confirmed to City Press that Becker and Du Preez were drinking in the video.

"Someone gave them the alcohol in jail," he said, stating he was responsible only for sending the photograph of alcohol seen on the computer screen.

"Boys will be boys. Christoff and Frikkie don't really care about the video. It happened in jail and doesn't affect their parole conditions," said Lubbe.

On Tuesday, Bekker, Du Preez, Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinach Tiedt were released on parole. They were jailed for beating a homeless man to death in Pretoria in 2001. – Sapa